For allergy sufferers, pollen can reduce what should be the season of renewal to a spell of runny noses, but you can take charge.
easonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, affects one in five of us, according to the Allergy Society of South Africa (ALLSA). And, even though it is often dismissed as a trivial condition, it can make life extremely unpleasant for sufferers and their families, and have serious implications if you’re asthmatic. Hay fever is triggered when temperatures rise in spring, releasing grass, tree and weed pollen to fertilise other plans. If you’re susceptible to allergies, you have an over-alert immune system, which makes these tiny pollen grains for foreign invaders, and then releases antibodies. This is your body’s defence against viruses, bacteria and any other dangerous organisms, says ALLSA chairman Prof Robin Green
As these antibodies attack the allergens, powerful chemicals (histamines) are released into your blood stream, causing the mucous membrane lining your nasal passages to swell. This ushers in the itchy, runny nose, watering eyes and blocked ears that can make life …
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